Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Claims in North Carolina
Injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver?
Being injured in a motor vehicle accident is in itself a difficult experience. When the other driver does not have insurance coverage or has insufficient coverage to cover your damages, matters can become increasingly complex and frightening. An all too common scenario in today's stagnant economy, uninsured and underinsured drivers place others on the roadways at serious risk. In fact, studies published by USA Today report that an estimated one out of every seven drivers in the United States has no insurance coverage. Alarming as these statistics may be, victims injured by uninsured or underinsured drivers should be aware that they do have legal rights and options, and that the experienced North Carolina auto accident attorneys at Nagle & Associates, P.A. are here to help.
Exploring Your Options
If you or your loved one has been injured in any type of auto accident, then it is important to explore all available sources of compensation. Exploring your options becomes even more important when the at-fault driver was driving without insurance or without enough insurance to cover all of your expenses and damages. In such a case, you can draw upon the uninsured / underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) coverage in your own insurance policy, and you can also collect from all other policies for any person who resided with you on the accident date and who is related to you by blood or marriage. Simply put, you can stack and add-together all policies in your household and collect through all coverage sources. Stacking policies would not increase your family's insurance premiums, and this approach vastly increases the tax-free money available to pay victims' accident and injury claims.
When you pursue an uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance claim, your own insurance provider steps into the shoes of the defendant. Even though it is your coverage, the insurance adjuster will seek to minimize payment to you in the same way the insurance company for the at-fault driver would. Insurance companies, after all, are in the business to collect premiums, not to make payouts. For this reason, it is of crucial importance to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer before accepting any kind of settlement from an insurance company.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage Is Stackable
Under North Carolina law, you can not only draw upon your own insurance policy, but also you can collect from the policy of anyone related by blood or marriage that you currently live with who has UM / UIM coverage for his or her own automobile. The following example illustrates how UM / UIM coverage works in an auto accident case:
Driver A hits driver B. Driver A was 100% at fault. Driver A has only $30,000 in insurance coverage for personal injury, but driver B's injuries are severe and permanent. Driver B has UM / UIM coverage for up to $100,000. Driver B's wife has a separate policy on her vehicle for $50,000. Driver B's son lives with him and has a separate policy on his vehicle with $100,000. The total coverage available to driver B in this case is $250,000: $30,000 in liability plus $220,000 in underinsured motorist coverage after stacking all family policies in the household.
Although this example demonstrates the point that insurance policies can be stacked, it is important to remember that cases always vary and can often be more complex than this example. As such, Attorney Carl Nagle draws from more than 20 years of focused motor vehicle accident experience and a background as a former claims adjuster and insurance defense lawyer to vet all of your available options and pursue a course of action that can secure the maximum compensation possible.
Learn More by Contacting a North Carolina Auto Accident Attorney
Attorney Nagle and his legal team have handled numerous uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, especially as financial straits have forced many drivers on the roads to eschew insurance coverage. Passionate about protecting the rights of injured victims and families and set on recovering the compensation they require, the firm's legal team works tirelessly to help clients understand precisely how these claims work and how the firm can help. As each case will differ according to the specific circumstances involved, the firm encourages you to schedule a personalized free case evaluation so that you can find specific answers that relate to your situation. Do not feel as if there is nothing you can do. Allow a team of proven North Carolina auto accident lawyers to help you explore your options. Contact Nagle & Associates today.